AF enlisted or officer?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Bitterguy, Jun 9, 2013.

  1. Bitterguy

    Bitterguy Member

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    I'm having a tough time deciding between officer and enlisted (again...) I got a 1500 on my sat (530 reading 500 math and 470 writing) and have yet to take my SAT. The reason I am feeling this way is because i looked at my family members. While my grandparents do think becoming an officer would be a better choice for me they both enlisted and are doing well. My father and uncle enlisted and my uncle is living comfortably and had 3 kids in the house at one point. My dad currently has 3 kids in the house including me and while we aren't necessarily debt free or not worrying about money we are doing better than a good portion of people.

    Now with the college and ROTC. I am going to take my ACT next time its available (not very often in PA) to see if i do better in that aspect. I will still try to apply to a college that offers AFROTC and has a good comp sci program(having trouble finding a school like such besides Penn state). Another thing that comes with college is motivation and responsibility. Whilst I feel I am responsible enough for college what come in to question is my motivation. In school if a subject interest me I can just sit there in class and do really well in said class, no homework needed. The problem comes in with things like foreign languages and other linguistic subjects where i dont do so hot yet despite getting Cs and Ds compared to my As and Bs in my other courses I am simply not motivated due to being spoiled in the aspect of not having to study many fields. Most colleges in my area require a second language as well which i would dread yet i still recognize is just a part of life.

    Another point that comes to me is weather or not I want to do 4 more years of college especially with my current levels of motivation. I feel i would much rather just get out there and do something rather than sit here and learn like i have been constantly for the last 11 years of my life leading me to think that enlist after school would be good option for me to get out into the computer field.

    I would like to get suggestion on my current gameplan or just suggestion in general.

    My game plan being(#1 being what i will try first every subsequent one being a back up):
    1. Seeing if I can get a afrotc scholarship to a good comp sci school and becoming an officer
    2.Enlisting, if i like military life so much as to further my career i will go to college while in the reserves (possibly still active) and become and officer through a program such as green to gold
    3. Just enlisting in itself and then going to lead a civilian life

    as always thanks in advance

    Sorry if it was ranty i am trying to get my thoughts straight whilst i write this.
     
  2. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog Citadel Class of 2016

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    Green To Gold is an Army commissioning program......I'm not sure what the AF's enlisted commissioning system is called or what it entails, Pima is the expert here.

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  3. Thompson

    Thompson Member

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    Just wanted to touch on this. I know this isn't quite Comp Sci - but maybe you could also consider Computer engineering? Here at Penn State, foreign language is NOT a requirement to graduate - for engineering disciplines. Just something to think about.
     
  4. gojack

    gojack ....

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    Bitterguy, you see confused;
    What kind of job do you really want to do?
    Why the military?
    Why the AF?
    Why computers?
    What are you looking to do?

    A couple of other points

    1) A BA (Bachelor of Arts) usually requires language classes, But a BS (Bachelor of Science) does not.

    2) Computer Science is an area where a college degree* is expected, and often an advanced degree-I have three siblings that are in Computer Science, two have PhD's

    3) Computer Science is one of the most commonly offered undergraduate degrees, most Universities offer it, stating that you must go to a prestigious university, or not go at all - that is just a silly straw-man argument.

    *Unless you want to do repairs and/or physically install software, cabling and hardware - a job usually called a Computer Tech
     
  5. jbsail

    jbsail Member

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    Bitterguy,

    Pick a language and do your best. If a C is it then you did you're best(which I believe you could get a B). Note cards help. Carry them around in your pocket and you can always pull them out to test yourself, in the car with the folks going to a ball game, waiting for a friend at the mall....



    Seems like the OP means graduating HS with a 2 yrs of 2nd language to get accepted into a college.


     
  6. nick4060

    nick4060 Member

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    If you're not truly motivated to go to college and become an officer RIGHT NOW, then I'd say why commit the next four years doing that. College isn't going anywhere. Neither are the various commissioning programs. There's nothing wrong with enlisting first, or doing something else for a few years.

    I'd say try and get a good idea of the possible enlisted jobs in the military that appeal to you. And if any of those motivate you more than spending the next four years in college, go for it. And after a few years, you might decide you want to become an officer, or you might decide to go to college for something else. Either way, its not like enlisting is a bad thing.
     
  7. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog Citadel Class of 2016

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    I hope the OP also understands that officer and enlisted are worlds apart from each other both lifestyle and career-wise.....
     
  8. Bitterguy

    Bitterguy Member

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    I really want to develop or program tech. Comps, phones and robots and the such.

    I've always wanted to serve atleast for a couple of years in the military I guess you could say its in my blood haha and while I do not think of these as the main reason the benifits are good as well

    The AF because they seem to be the most tech and comp oriented of all the branches

    I've always been good at assembling comps and understood them pretty well. I've also taken a good chunk of programming courses at my school and am taking another dual enrollment course next year.

    I want to develop/ program the tech of the future. And serve my country as well as helping to improve it

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  9. Strength and Honor

    Strength and Honor Member

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    Just from observing, it seems like the OP has his mind set on NOT going to college. So why post this? You know the pros and cons, just make a decision!! You can still enlist with a degree, and you can still take college classes while enlisted.
     
  10. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog Citadel Class of 2016

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    I may be wrong, but I believe there are several officer career paths in the Air Force that focus solely on Research and Development, likely a few which focus on computers.
     
  11. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Gojack asks the right questions...

    You can be a lot of different things in the computer business. Some require degrees, others not so much.

    I have a BIL who has an associates degree in photography (my sister insisted he at least finish that degree), got a job where he could learn and do a lot with computers and has worked his way up to a significant 6-figure salary as a network consultant for a top firm in IT.

    Point here is the degree gets you entry to some doors and many are open to those who prove themselves otherwise.

    The military (as well as other governmental institutions) is big on degrees for management positions. If your career desires are along IT management, by all means get the degree. If you just love playing with technological toys to solve problems - go for the hands on experience.

    If you think computer science is a field of job security, fuggidaboutit!

    I make that comment because it is a common misconception that a computer science degree somehow is a golden ticket to a high paying career. In the quarter century plus I've been in IT, the business has changed so much that only the basic principles (which sadly enough get ignored in today's technology driven degrees) are the only things I use on a daily basis. The tools change; The computing model goes in cycles; the business emphasis continually changes. I've got another 15 years before I retire and I expect several more iterations in that time.

    And you are one bad career move away from being obsolete and out of work in this business. If a typical working career these days is about 45 years, there is a good chance that you will struggle at many points along the way.

    Not trying to turn you away from things IT, but just trying to get you to think about keeping your options open. A military career - enlisted or officer - gives you an opportunity to learn many skills that last a career. Your focus on computer science will get you a job today, but a career - that is a long term struggle that you only win because you truly love it or are incredibly talented. Getting back to the enlisted vs. officer question - do you want to play with things or manage people. That is really the question you must ask yourself.
     
  12. nick4060

    nick4060 Member

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    Not really. 62Es (developmental engineers) don't do a whole lot of the actual R&D. Essentially, they manage acquisitions programs while civilians or contractors do most of the work.
     
  13. nick4060

    nick4060 Member

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    That hits the nail on the head, IMO.
     
  14. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog Citadel Class of 2016

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    Knew it sounded too good to be true lol
     
  15. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog Citadel Class of 2016

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    Exactly. This is what the OP needs to think about.....as soon as this question is answered his mind should be easily made up.
     
  16. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    +1 to goaliedad and nick. goaliedad also raises a good point about staying current to keep your job/career. Some day the synapsis stop firing as quickly and it becomes difficult. Not impossible but difficult. And eventually you tire of it and RE-tire. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
     
  17. Bitterguy

    Bitterguy Member

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    Hmmm I guess I do wanna play with things and develop them not so much managing the people that do such. I guess its just the pressure from guidance counselers, schools and a lot of other things out there telling me to go right to college and anything else will lead me to the poor house and make my life miserable.

    but truth is college will always be there if I need to go there. And I might not need to go there and I should go do what I want to do not what everyone tells me what is the best thing.

    I know that sounded rather cliche but thanks for straightening me out. I've talked with my parents and I think ill sit on it and make my decision sometime between after cap encampment and the end of summer.

    again, thank you

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  18. Bitterguy

    Bitterguy Member

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    I have thought if thus before even thinking if bringing my career (passion even) into the military. That challenge is auctually part of why unlike the field always changing always keeping me on my toes and improving. While bad days will happen I feel like I won't be sitting there for years waking up doing the exact thing as I did yesterday such as with school and any jobs I can get now (even though those are supposed to be repetitive and boringly straightforward)

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  19. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    One last thing to consider...

    If your parents are happy to have you work on a 2-year technical degree (many community colleges have programs that will get you various technology certifications), it would go a long way in allowing you to get your MOS of choice as an enlisted as well as start you off as an E-3. The few extra bucks will go a long way when you are starting out. And the education may be a little more to your liking.
     
  20. Bitterguy

    Bitterguy Member

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    If we had the money it sounds great haha. In all seriousness though I will consider it. I'm going to be talking to my cousin as well, today I learned that he went into the navy for IT and I figured i could get some questions answered trough him

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